Lucite Dreams on an Acrylic Budget

Moving is my absolute least favorite “adulting” thing to do. I have done a lot of it in the past two years, but I am finally settled in a new place with my younger sister. We have a beautiful, modern, two bedroom near both of our jobs and the cool spots Uptown and Downtown. I successfully removed the final moving boxes from my bedroom last week, and have been working on pulling the space together.

Of course most of my focus has been on the area where all the magic happens…my vanity. Last night, being the handy woman that I am (insert sarcasm here), I hung the shelves I purchased last week.

Please ignore the fact that I’m hanging out in the mirror.

If you know me at all then you know I am obsessed with anything acrylic, lucite, or basically see through. There is just something about it that looks so classy to me. So when I saw these acrylic shelves at The Container Store I knew I was going home with them. I initially went in there for more storage drawers or possibly even new ones (lusting over the cliché units that Desi Perkins has), but when the shelves caught my eye it was a done deal.

Eventually I would like to do a full overhaul of my happy space, but I am taking it a few items at a time. I like to mix modern with vintage and sometimes it takes some hunting to track down the latter. Needless to say I have never met an antique store I didn’t like! Fortunately for me I found my French Provincial vanity on Craigslist for 100 bucks! That was back in 2012 and since then pieces like it have sold for triple. Look out for my next post on bedroom décor and I am sure there will be a vintage find included.

I hope you all have an amazing rest of your week!

Acrylic Shelves

Metal Marquee Letter

Brush Cup with Blush and Freckles

Glass Brush Cups

 

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The Fabulous World of Skincare Part II

Last week I shared what it takes to get my face squeaky clean. So what happens when I have to rebalance my skin’s PH? That is where my superstar arsenal of skin care products comes in.

Before I worked at Sephora I had no idea what an essence was. I would see the fancy bottles and just assume they weren’t worth the price tag. Man, was I wrong! I have tried two since receiving products in gratis, but the one I’ve liked the most is by SK-II. This skin treatment essence is created to balance the skin’s hydration levels and support cell renewal which is important for combatting wrinkles and other signs of aging. You can read more on SK-II’s essence here. It is the first thing I apply after cleansing my skin and it just makes it feel smoother and ready to accept more products.

Next I apply my Caudalie Radiance Serum. This serum helps shatter melanin particles which are responsible for the pigmentation of dark spots. I have several post acne marks and I will say since using this serum they have continuously gotten lighter without disturbing the natural pigmentation of my skin. Caudalie’s secret weapon for making this serum great is viniferine. This natural ingredient derived from grapevines is 62 times more powerful than Vitamin C. Check out more info on this miracle serum here.

Because you can see my dark circles from outer space, an eye cream is a must! I use It Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye. It contains high quality ingredients like hyaluronic acid and peptides which have been proven to improve under eye brightness. With two jobs and a weekly blog to run I never sleep so this product is my knight in shining armor! This product also de-puffs and smooths.

I swear this post is in no way sponsored by It Cosmetics…they have no idea who I am! They just happen to have great products that my skin really likes. As my nightly moisturizer I’ve been using It Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream. This product is a stand out for me because it can also be used on the neck. I’m 30 now and one of my biggest fears is having a “turkey neck” when I am older. Needless to say, if it will firm the neck and face I am all about it! Niacin, peptides, collagen, and other anti-aging ingredients make this product a powerful force against wrinkles and dehydration.

My skin can be finicky now that my biggest worry isn’t P. Acne. I don’t always use the same source of moisturizer all the time. Aside from my Confidence in a Cream I really like facial oils. Seems counter intuitive for an oily skin type to place oil on the skin but it actually makes me less oily. Oils trick the skin into producing less surface oil because it thinks it more than hydrated when there is an extra layer of oil on top. I love Drunk Elephant’s Virgin Marula Oil. It’s light weight so I don’t feel greasy and I’m convinced it helped my usually sparse eyebrows grow a bit.

More recently I have been trying Noni Glow Oil by a new brand called Kora. Kora was developed super model Miranda Kerr. The oil is also light weight but it isn’t intended to be used alone. It’s basically a booster before using your regular moisturizer. I like it so far but I’m not in love with the smell. Luckily the scent doesn’t linger! I don’t know how long it will be part of my routine unless I start to see some amazing benefits, but I’ll stick with it to give it a fair chance.

When it comes to hydrating in the morning after my micellar water; I run back to good old Ole. Ole Henriksen that is. Ole created a line specifically for us oily beasts! The Counter Balance line combats oils by mattifying while still hydrating and balancing moisture levels in the skin. The Counter Balance Oil Control Hydrator uses botanicals and AHAs to reduce oil and still hydrate. This product can also act as a cosmetic primer improving the wear of foundation for up to 8 hours. How cool is that!

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The Fabulous World of Skincare Part I

I haven’t posted on skincare since 2015! Since I started work at Sephora (9 months ago) I have received tons on great skin care items in my Gratis. Gratis is just fancy (Italian) for free stuff. This has definitely helped me step up my skin care routine. I definitely do a lot more than I used to but that also comes with the knowledge of how to better care for my super sensitive, oily skin type. I’ve broken this post down into two parts so you don’t strain your eyes reading it all! Hope you enjoy Part I.



Cleansing

In the AM my routine is pretty minimal. Over the years I’ve learned that washing my face with hardcore cleansers in the morning does my skin no favors. So I just take a cotton round and use some micellar water to cleanse away any debris I didn’t catch the night before. I like Garnier most mornings, but my Caudalie water is awesome as well and it was free.99!

Nighttime Pre-Cleanse

I always remove my makeup. To me it’s like a layer of stuff that has be wiped away before cleansing. Most of the time I jump straight into my shower and use a nickel sized amount of It Cosmetics’ Bye Bye Makeup Melting  Balm. It is fantastic! It removes hard to get off mascara and/or lash glue. You can read more about its benefits here. On the occasion where I am feeling lazy or need a quick nap I reach for my Simple Skin Care makeup removing wipes. These do not cleanse as deeply as the balm, but they work at getting everything off the surface until you can cleanse your skin.


At night after I am ready to wash my day away I need a bit more help than my hands can give. That’s where my Clarisonic (complements of Sephora) comes in.  I’m currently using Skin Laundry Gentle Foaming Cleanser. I had never heard of Skin Laundry before I received this product in my Sephora Gratis; but I am glad I did. This cleanser is amazing! It is gentle but it cleanses my skin after makeup removal perfectly. It never leaves my skin feeling dried out or stripped. Skin Laundry is a niche brand founded by Asia native, Yen Reis.  You can read more about Yen and her brand here

When I need to exfoliate there is nothing like my Ole Henriksen Pore Balance Facial Sauna Scrub. I first heard of this brand before I worked for Sephora. I received a sample in my Sephora Play Box. Ole Henriksen is a Danish Esthetician who launched his skin care line after suffering from Cystic Acne himself. You can read more of Ole’s story here. This brand is amazing enough to give frequently to Sephora employees. I received this scrub about 2 weeks ago so it is relatively new to my routine, but I love it! The beads have the perfect amount of grit and it has a warming sensation as it goes onto your skin. This sensation intensifies (not uncomfortably) and then gradually fades to a cooling sensation.

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Dallas Gets a NYX Store!

Image Credit: northparkcenter.com

Receiving employment update emails from large cosmetic companies is part of my weekly norm. I have wanted to work for L’Oreal in particular for some time now and I get their updates all the time. Most of them are positions I am not qualified for at this time or in areas I have no desire to relocate to. Imagine my surprise when I open last week’s email and there are some new positions available in Dallas. Specifically at a location near my home with a brand I had no idea was coming to the DFW area. Seriously, I used to think that we never got anything because Houston seemed to always one up us. Apparently things are changing for “Baby New York” as my grandpa used to fondly refer to the big D. I by no means think we are on a New York status but the birth place of Neiman Marcus is on the up-rise.

Dallas’ Northpark Center is one of the largest shopping malls in Dallas proper, and getting bigger all the time. Joining us this Summer is NYX Cosmetics! Their stores have already graced other large cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Austin with their presence. My email from L’Oreal advertised management positions with the upcoming store. However, I have no intent to leave Sephora at this time. I’m kind of loyal like that! Although, that isn’t going to stop my makeup addicted self from shopping till I drop. If you live in the Metroplex will you be checking out the new NYX store? Let me know in the comments!

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Olive Juice Pictorial

Isn’t it ironic that we get all dressed up on Christmas Day, just to sit in our living room? I didn’t spend the whole day in my living room, but my closest friends do know what I look like without a full face of warpaint. However, they also know makeup is my one true love! Here is a look at the eye look I created that day: step by step. Products used will be listed below.

1: Scotch tape and NYX eyeshadow base in Skintone

2: Transition shade from the Melt Cosmetics Dark Matter Stack in Blurr

3: Melt Cosmetics Dark Matter Stack shade Enigma

4: Revlon Photoready Eye Art in shade Desert Dazzle (shadow end of the duo)

5: Sephora Collection shadow in the shade Snakeskin Dress over the liquid shadow

6: L.A. Splash Art-ki-tekt liquid liner

7: Josie Maran Enlightenment Illuminizing Veil as a brow bone highlight. Glitter end of Revlon Desert Dazzle as an inner corner highlight. House of Lashes Pixie Luxe lashes.

 

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“The” Bobbi is Out of Bobbi Brown

If you’ve been under a rock the past couple of days (or stuck holiday shopping inside the mall) let me shine some light on you. According to Allure.com, Bobbi Brown is departing from her namesake brand in 2017. Bobbi will be turning over the creative reigns to Peter Lichtenthal, Global Brand President of both Bumble and Bumble and Bobbi Brown. That means consumers can still get their hands on Bobbi’s best and most iconic (um…shimmer brick anyone?) products; however, Bobbi will no longer be the creative force behind new products for the brand. Miss Brown (who’s actually Mrs. Steven Plofker) has not commented on what her next endeavor in the beauty biz will be, but stay tuned! I have a feeling that Bobbi is going to throw us for a loop in 2017!

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Estée Lauder Picks Up Too Faced

Photo courtesy of: makeup.nowblogg.com

In my last article I told you guys all about Estée Lauder acquiring Becca Cosmetics, a brand best known for their highlighting powders. Well EL strikes again with another strategic purchase of cult-brand, Too Faced. Headquartered in Orange County, California the brand prides itself on uber cute packaging and “food themed” palettes. Lauder put down a cool 1.4 million which is the largest payment they have ever made for an acquisition. CEO, Fabrizio Freda cites Too Faced’s “unique feminine and Millenial communication focus” as a characteristic that compliments EL’s current brand portfolio. 

Want even more scoop on this new endeavor? Check out Allure’s article here.

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Lauder Acquires Another Small Brand

cosmetics-1543276_640If you aren’t a web stalker like myself, then you may not know that Estée Lauder has once again purchased a smaller, yet well-known (in partial thanks to Jaclyn Hill) cosmetics brand. The cosmetics giant acquired Becca from Luxury Brand Partners for what is being said is a hefty sum. Forbes touts “[the] search for the flawless face” as EL’s reasoning behind the purchase. My personal take on the matter…in the world of beauty it’s EL’s world and the rest of us just live in it. One of the oldest beauty companies, Lauder has been around since 1946 when screen sirens like Eva Gardner were all the rage. Having started with just four products in their arsenal; the Estee Lauder Companies now own over 30 beauty brands. Needless to say, Mrs. Lauter (may she rest in peace) has certainly earned her keep.

So what is Becca, also known for being a cruelty-free brand, saying about all of this? The official statement can be found on their website under their FAQs. “Our #BECCAbeauties are our guiding light. The past few years have been amazing and we have grown tremendously. We appreciate all of your support and love to help get us where we are today. As we continue on our journey, we are excited to join The Estée Lauder Companies family. With their extra support, we will be able to bring our products and vision to even more #BECCAbeauties worldwide.” Other cruelty-free brands such as Urban Decay and NYX have also joined the EL Companies and maintained their commitment not to test on animals. Will it be the same for Becca? Only time will tell.

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Talk Thru Eyes and Lips Anastasia Modern Renaissance

To watch my latest video on the look above click here

Products used:

Hard Candy Sheer Envy Hydrating Primer Mist

Hard Candy Sheer Envy Shine Free primer

Revlon Colorstay Combo/Oily foundation

Colourpop brown pencil in Bangin’ Brunette

Anastasia Clear brow gel

NYX Highlight & Contour Pro palette

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Diffused Heat

Colourpop highlighter in Butterfly Beach

Laura Geller Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator in Peach Glow

MAC Pro Longwear Paintpot in Soft Ochre

Anastasia Modern Renaissance palette

L’Oreal Telescopic mascara in Carbon Black

Koko lashes in 501

LA Splash Arkitekt liner

Dose of Colors matte liquid lipstick in Cork

NYX Matte Finish setting spray

 

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Thermal Highlighting?

Thermal-Highlighter-TrendPhoto Credit: popsugar.com

If highlighting is not the most talked about trend in the beauty community right now; I don’t know what is! I’m fully aware that my last post was about colored highlighters, but when I came across this stunning photo and article this afternoon I couldn’t resist giving my thoughts. While some are covering their entire faces in moondust for the full-face highlighter challenge; the more daring are taking on thermal highlighting. I know what you’re thinking…what the??? Thermal highlighting is intended to mimic the same pigments given off during a thermal body scan. Think The Predator circa 1987. Now while I wouldn’t wear this look in public I appreciate the bold statement. I personally am dying to try it. I’ll be sure to post the link to my recreation video when I do!

Original Photo from  MUA, Iry Randrasana’s Instagram  

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